If you’re trying to lose weight and cut expenses, it’s no secret that the first place to look is your shopping cart. The idea that healthy eating is expensive is a myth. In fact, those pricey convenience foods driving up your grocery costs are probably sabotaging your diet, too. Next time you’re at the grocery store, check your cart and swap these no-nos for healthier, more frugal alternatives.
Sodas are not only expensive — they’re also full of sugar, artificial flavors, and empty calories. Studies show that even diet sodas can lead to weight gain. Considering its negative effects on your health, the cost of soda is outrageous. Just one 12-pack per week is likely to add $12-$20 a month to your grocery expenses. Instead of drinking soda, invest in a water filtration system like Brita or Pur. If you miss flavor, drink unsweetened tea with lemon instead.
If wine, beer or liquor are weekly staples on your grocery list, it’s time to take a serious look at how much it’s costing you — not just in dollars but also in calories. Alcohol is one of the least nutritious, most caloric things you can consume. Removing it from your grocery list and your diet is a must.
Fruit juice is full of nutrients, and it’s not an inherently unhealthy drink to consume. However, when you’re trying to lose weight, it’s not a good idea to drink your calories. A glass of fruit juice is likely to have as many calories as a small snack, but it will leave you feeling unsatisfied and craving more food. Considering most fruit juices cost around $3 for a half gallon, you’re better off sticking to tea and water. Fresh fruit offers the same health benefits as juice, but an apple is a more satisfying snack than a glass of apple juice.
“Low calorie” or “fat free” snacks foods
These convenience foods not only cost a fortune, but they may not be helping you lose weight. Not only are they full of artificial ingredients and sweeteners, studies show that you’re likely to eat larger portions of “fat free” and “low cal” foods, which may cancel out their benefits. Instead of buying snack foods, opt for fresh produce. Choose fruits and vegetables that are currently in season for the lowest prices. If produce prices are too high, canned fruits and vegetables are the next best thing.